Progress report of UI’s 2020 vision


The Little Village has published a “progress report” of the University of Iowa’s 2020 vision.

The 2020 vision refers to a set of sustainability goals adopted by the university in 2010 that they hope to complete by the end of 2020.

The progress report covers the vision’s seven general goals: achieve net-negative energy growth; green the energy portfolio; decrease the production of waste; reduce the carbon impact of transportation; increase student opportunities to learn and practice principles of sustainability; support and grow interdisciplinary research in sustainability-focused areas; and develop partnerships to advance collaborative initiative, both academic and professional.

Read the progress report here.

UI and ISU participate in EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge

Photo by Photo Mojo Mike, Flickr.


The University of Iowa and Iowa State University participated in the EPA’s 2012-2013 College and University Green Power Challenge.

This challenge compared the green power usage of the collegiate athletic conferences. The Big Ten Conference and the Big 12 Conference finished first and second. The University of Iowa contributed 9,842,480 kWh of Green Power, while Iowa State University contributed 17,964,3300 kWh.

Check out the rest of the results here.

UI hospitals add composting

Photo by max-R, Flickr.
Photo by max-R, Flickr.

Beginning on March 28, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will start putting food compost bins in their six dining rooms.

Additionally, in February the hospital announced they would eliminate Styrofoam and nonrecyclable plastic from its cafeterias.

The collected compost will be taken to the Iowa City Landfill, which has done food composting since 2007.

Read the full story here.

UI considers eliminating physical copy of the directory

Photo by Telstar Logistics, Flickr.
Photo by Telstar Logistics, Flickr.

The University of Iowa’s directory is currently available online and in a physical format. However, the school is considering eliminating the physical copies in order to save paper.

In 2012, UI ordered 6,500 directories. Many students and faculty members never use these directories, and instead opt to look up information online.

Along with potentially eliminating the directories, many professors are going paperless in their classrooms and UI is cutting back on their copies of phone books for the residence halls.

Read more here.

UI named Tree Campus USA

Trees near UI's Schaeffer Hall. Photo by jfravel, Flickr.
Trees near UI’s Schaeffer Hall. Photo by jfravel, Flickr.

The University of Iowa has once again been named a Tree Campus USA.

This designation is through the Arbor Day Foundation, and it’s given to universities that demonstrate commitment to managing and protecting their trees.

This marks the fourth year in a row that UI has received this honor. In order to be named a Tree Campus USA, a university must have a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.

Read more about this story here.

UI to compete in RecycleMania

Photo by University of Maryland Press Releases, Flickr.
Photo by University of Maryland Press Releases, Flickr.

The University of Iowa is competing in RecycleMania this year.

In this competition, schools across the nation compare the amount of waste they reduce, reuse and recycle over an eight week stretch.

The competition began on February 3rd and will continue through March 30th.

UI hopes to be the top recycler in the Big Ten.

Read more here.

UI uses dying Johnson County trees as biofuel

Garlic mustard is one of the invasive plants affecting the Johnson County trees. Photo by eLeSeA, Flickr.
Garlic mustard is one of the invasive plants affecting the Johnson County trees. Photo by eLeSeA, Flickr.

The University of Iowa will use 24 acres of dead and dying trees in Johnson County as biofuel.

The trees are dying because of invasive species like garlic mustard, exotic honeysuckles and Canada thistles.

Once the trees are removed and the invasive plants are cleared, the land will be converted into a prairie.

Read more from The Gazette here.

UI professor looks at legal consequences of geo-engineering

Photo by Mikenan1, Flickr.
Photo by Mikenan1, Flickr.

One proposed way to deal with climate change is to manipulate the environment in a way that limits or slows the damage caused by the increasing temperatures. This act of manipulating the environment is known as geo-engineering.

Examples of geo-engineering include painting roofs and paved areas white to cut down on heat absorption, and injecting chemicals into the upper atmosphere to create an aerosol shield around earth.

University of Iowa law professor Jon Carlson is exploring the legal ramifications of the geo-engineering efforts. After all, a geo-engineering effort could hurt a country’s farming while mitigating climate change. Carlson believes these types of issues are important to discuss now before action is taken.

Read more about geo-engineering and Carlson’s suggestions for dealing with the legal complications connected to geo-engineering here.

How UI conserves energy

University of Iowa's Old Capitol building. Photo by Sean_Marshall, Flickr.
University of Iowa’s Old Capitol building. Photo by Sean_Marshall, Flickr.

Two years ago, the University of Iowa opened their new Energy Control Center. This state-of-the-art facility allows engineers to monitor UI’s energy output and quickly address any unusual activity.

The Energy Control Center saves the university more than $500,000 each year.

Read more about the Energy Control Center and other energy efficiency measures at the University of Iowa here.

View real-time energy consumption around campus here.